How do you decide whether it’s worth upgrading from your current version of SDL Trados Studio to the latest release? The answer to this common question depends on which version you’re running at the moment and which features you need. Since the first release of SDL Trados Studio back in 2009, each version (2011, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021) has brought major new features that may be decisive for you.
Below is a summary of new features by version. I’ve listed the features in order of importance (in my opinion), so you can spot the differences quickly. Features are cumulative, obviously, so each version includes all previous features. They refer to the latest build (usually SP2) of the Freelance edition.
It’s like a potted history of SDL Trados Studio, showing which feature came out when. Studio users who provide support on forums can use this post as a reference to answer questions such as, “Can I use the MS Word spell checker in Studio 2009?” or “How can I add a symbol in Studio 2014?”
SDL Trados Studio 2009
A list of new features doesn’t apply here, because Studio 2009 was the first of its kind, replacing Trados Workbench in MS Word and TagEditor for other file types. The key differences compared with the legacy tools were:
- Side-by-side source-target display
- Look-up in multiple TMs (translation memories) and TBs (termbases)
- QA checks to catch source/target inconsistencies in numbers, punctuation, etc.
- Autosuggest, with suggestions as you type (from TMs, TBs and autotext lists)
- Autosuggest dictionary creation from TMs with at least 25,000 TUs (translation units)
- Translation progress displayed as a percentage or word count
- Project workflow, with different file formats in a single project
- Editable PDF file support
- Autopropagation of identical segments
- Source segment editing in DOC(X) and PPT(X) file types
- MS Word spell checker (in addition to Hunspell)
- Track changes (in source and target segments in DOCX files)
- External review in MS Word, with changes then added to the bilingual SDLXLIFF file
- Bilingual Word file support (legacy Workbench files can now be processed in Studio)
- More options in segment display filtering (segments with numbers only, track changes)
- Pseudo-translation to test translated document output
- OpenDocument file support
- Open Exchange apps: Ttx It, T-Window for Clipboard, Batch Find&Replace brought into core product
- Find&Replace: regex can be used in replace operations
- Autosuggest dictionary creation license now a paid extra
- Ribbon interface
- Java no longer used for MultiTerm
- Quick merge of several files in a project
- Much faster processing times
- Automatic concordance (when no fuzzy matches are returned)
- Autosave (automatic back-up of the SDLXLIFF file)
- Customised user ID (instead of the Windows default ID)
- Alignment tool revamped (WinAlign is deprecated)
- Autosuggest dictionary creation from a TM with only 10,000 units (previously 25,000)
- Source segment editing for almost all file types
- Autopropagation in segments with track changes
- Alphanumeric string recognition
- File analysis is a separate task
- 100% matches can be locked
- AutoCorrect (same options as in MS Word)
- Word 2016 file type support (essential for opening a Word document created in MS Office 2016). New file type offers real-time preview in Word and fewer target saving errors
- Scanned PDF file support, with recognition in 14 languages
- Autosuggest 2.0, with real-time leverage of current TM, concordance and MT (machine translation) providers
- Retrofit feature that updates an SDLXLIFF file with changes made in a target Word file
- Ribbon customisation
- New bilingual Excel file type
- Symbols, bookmarks, AnyTM (to use TMs in different languages) in core product
- New-look interface and new interface languages: Italian, Russian, Korean (in addition to English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese)
- Whole TU match (a whole short segment contained in a longer one is offered through AutoSuggest)
- TU fragment match (new window offering subsegment matches)
- Fuzzy match repair: segments are repaired using resources from termbases, aligned and current TMs and MT
- Adaptive MT through a personal engine in your Language Cloud account
- Merging across paragraph marks
- Advanced Filter Display, with simultaneous searching in source and target and cascading or combinations of different filters.
- Preview a file by file type
- Recently-used languages offered when creating a new project
- Open a file in Studio by right-clicking in Windows File Explorer
- Useful Tips collection
- Tell me (what you want to do)
- Redesigned project wizard
- Improved quality assurance
- Enhanced translation memory management
- SDL Trados Live
- End of the five-language limit
- Enhanced Advanced Display Filter
- AppStore inside Studio
- Language resource import and export
- Community forum inside Studio
- Custom auto-localization
- Subscription licensing
Pingback: (CAT) – SDL Trados Studio features in 2009, 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2017 | Emma Goldsmith – Glossarissimo!
I took the plunge and upgraded from 2014–it wasn’t very expensive, and I’ll get the free upgrade to 2017. Truth be told, I haven’t even had time to install it! I’m looking forward to AutoCorrect and support for PDFs. How does the built-in PDF support compare to FineReader or other OCR software?
I agree, Jonathan – now is a good time to upgrade from Studio 2014. I didn’t want to say so specifically in the blog post because I don’t want it to sound like an advert!
The built-in PDF file type works surprisingly well, especially if you correct the formatting before starting the translation (see my instructions here). Having said that, Abbyy FineReader usually does a better job because you can work on the formatting before the OCR step, but that’s to be expected in a dedicated OCR tool.
Enjoy Studio 2015, and 2017 when it arrives!
Based on your excellent advice (as always), I also took the plunge and upgraded from 2015, or rather, I have paid for the upgrade to 2017. The next step will be upgrading from Windows 7 to 10, but that’s another story!
Great to hear, Kim! Hope to see you at the SDL training session at METM on Thursday!
Looking forward to it!
I read your blog that right now itâs a good thing to upgrade at this price, we get two for one.
On the other hand, I would like to find out once and for all if Wordfast has all the useful features that SDL Studio has and if it is worth paying the 1K in order to avoid the endless upgrades. In other words, I want to enjoy the same basic features and have peace. I am a freelancer and use perhaps 20% of SDL Studio. Can you direct me to somebody who can answer my question?
The last time I used Wordfast was about 15 years ago so I don’t know the answer! I suggest you ask this question on a Wordfast forum.
On the subject of endless upgrades, even though you’re not interested in more features, it’s worth remembering that CAT tools have to keep up with changes in other software, e.g., when MS Office reinvents its file types, CAT tools have to adapt. So upgrading our software constantly is unavoidable, in my opinion.
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Merging across paragraph marks in Studio 2017! That’s all I needed to know, I’ll definitely be upgrading.
Thanks for taking the time to put this list together Emma.
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Getting 2017 for free?? Sure?
Yes, I’m sure, Martina. Check it out on the SDL store website, where it says, “If you have purchased/upgraded to a Studio 2015 license since 1 July 2016, you will get a free upgrade to Studio 2017 on release + Free AutoSuggest Creator.”
Thank you, Emma. Your blog remains such a valuable source of information when it comes to SDL Trados.